Turkish officials have banned a festival of German-language gay films due to be held in the capital Ankara, saying it could incite hatred or be targeted by terror attacks. The organisers Pink Life QueerFest Four had planned to screen four films at cinemas on 16 and 17 November.

They said the decision “deprives us of our constitutional rights”. Homosexuality is not illegal in Turkey but activists say homophobia remains widespread. In a statement, Ankara’s governor office said the festival’s content “could incite grudges and enmity toward a part of society”.

Intelligence suggested that “terror organizations are seeking to attack dissident groups or individuals” and that the “screening could be provocative and draw reactions”, it added. The cancellation comes amid deteriorating relations between the two countries sparked by the detention of German nationals and what Turkey says it is Germany’s interference in domestic issues.

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